User's Guide to the Nickel 1-m Telescope

Table of Contents

Hardware Overview
Light Path
Diagonal Mirror
Arc & Flat-field Lamps
Filter and Aperture Wheels
Dew Sensor
Sofware Overview
Web/Video Cameras
Observing Hints
Remote Operations

Mt. Hamilton Homepage


The Nickel 1-Meter Reflector is one of the newer telescopes on Mount Hamilton, but occupies the oldest dome. It was put into operations in 1979, in the dome that, since 1881, had been home to the Clark 12-inch Refractor. The 1-meter was designed by Lick personnel and built in the Lick shops, with funds provided in a bequest from Anna L. Nickel.

The Nickel Telescope is a highly automated, modern telescope, operated remotely from a control room adjacent to the dome or from a properly equipped remote observing room on some of the UC Campuses. No telescope operator is provided for the Nickel, so observers must be trained in its use on site by a support astronomer.

The f/17 cassegrain focus is the only focus available for placing instruments. Lick facility instruments are available for observer use and are summarized below. Observers wishing to place their own instrument on the telescope should consult a support astronomer to assess feasibility.

Available Facility Instruments
Direct Imaging Camera - Optical CCD camera with filter wheel accomodating up to four 2" square filters.
Spectrograph - Medium resolution optical spectrometer and direct imager.

The Nickel Telescope is available to the University of California astronomical community by subscription.
Follow these links to:

1-m Time Allocation Policy
Observing Time Request Forms

All new users must be checked out by a resident astronomer on their first night. Please request support on your time application.

Please direct questions to a Mount Hamilton support astronomer.
Email or consult the support astronomers' on-call schedule.

Nickel 1-m Telescope
Photo Courtesy of Laurie Hatch